16 November 2023

A big museum

Truly this art museum is big, in the sense that it's got three floors with huge ceilings. it was the space that really got me first up. The pics will not do it justice. Why you would build such a huge space is a mystery to me. The heating must be costly and my country is concerned with nothing but efficient these days (other than for rich people, of course). But it is impressive. I expect there are various hidden mezzanine floors that visitors don't see, but still... More importantly, how was the collection? It dates from Cranach the elder through to present days. It has some art from the time before the fall of the wall so that's interesting, and romantic and later eras, but my love was the early, the Renaissance, of Cranach and contemporaries. There's an Adam and Eve as in the Uffizi and a string of other museums and a young Martin Luther as in Weimar. As a good businessman, Cranach knew to have repeatable templates. Like Rembrandt who got students and studio workers to paint his self-portraits. There's one here. And a Seven ages of women by van Eyck amused me. I returned to those earlier works, skimmed through the impressionists, enjoyed the delicate but cold portraits of ~1830s Germany. Not sure what that period is called. There were a few works by Klinger that truly filled the space and a string of Beckman works; Beckman had been banned by the Nazis and spent WW2 in Amsterdam. As for the art before fall of Berlin Wall, it was fascinating, concerned with oppression and daily reality and a quest for freedom but also personal matters like coming of age. It was a different world. And then there's that statue of Beethoven in the huge foyer. So this is a big, big building with a moderately sized but none-the-less interesting collection. Despite Adam and Eve, not the Uffizi but worthy.

The Museum der bildenden Kunste Leipzig (MbdK; Museum of the visual arts) is in Leipzig.

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